From 15th July until 02nd August 2019, the Center for Evaluation, the Center for Continuous Education at University of Bern and the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank conducted the world-famous International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) for the second time. About 200 participants from more than 80 countries joined in the Swiss capital city Bern for working in the one-week core program or one of the twenty additional workshops.
In comparison to last year, there are certain renewals and innovations in the core course, developed and implemented by CEval. A new trainer team supported the participants, composed of Reinhard Stockmann, Wolfgang Meyer (CEval), Stefanie Krapp (Uni Bern) and two experienced instructors from CLEAR-centers in Africa and Latin America, Candice Morkel and Gabriela Perez. The participants reacted very positive not only on the instructors but also on the modernized and didactically revised program. Therefore, the IPDET team successfully renewed and adapted the highly recommended and approved training program to new developments and challenges. The newly-laid basis should be accomplished by online-features and tutorial support during the next years, making IPDET even more attractive.
The twenty well-attended workshops covered a broad variety of topics like for instance qualitative data collection methods, evaluation in the UN, private sector evaluation, participatory evaluation or the use of evaluation evidence, giving at least an insight in the different theoretical and methodical approaches globally used for various forms of evaluations. Accompanying the reformed one-week core course, several consolidation workshops were offered on a fundamental level. This provided new opportunities for the participants to design there training program more individually and adapted to their personal needs. Especially people who are responsible for commissioning evaluations in national or transnational organizations highly appreciated these options and the availability of attractive offers for their own needs. CEval contributed to this with two well-acclaimed workshops (“Evaluation for Middle and Upper Management” and “Monitoring and Evaluating the SDGs”).
For 2020, the IPDET team is planning further important new steps forward: the decentralization of course program to other countries. Currently, there are negotiations with CLEAR-centers and some Universities in Africa, Asia and Latin America, leading towards the first offers of a decentralized program next year. CEval is developing an adequate concept, cooperating with the IPDET consortium partners and the World Bank. The new program will be strongly linked to IPDET in Bern and will open new opportunities for additional course offers as well as the participation of new target groups.
The research project “Factors for successful cooperation in vocational training with People’s Republic of China” (efach) aims to close a long-standing gap in vocational training research. For the first time, it will be investigated whether success factors of VET cooperation identified in previous research, arranged into a key factor model, also apply to cooperations beyond the state and civil society cooperation in the private sector and in China.
The research project, which is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is devised for three years (April 2019 until March 2022). It is implemented by the Chair of Sociology / Center for Evaluation (CEval, Saarbruecken) in cooperation with the Central Institute for Vocational & Technical Education (CIVTE, Beijing) and the Chinese-German Institute for Vocational Education and Training at Tongji University (CDIBB, Shanghai). At the kick-off workshop (June 17 – June 21, 2019) project goals, theoretical considerations, the current research status and numerous questions concerning project planning were discussed.
The first personal meeting of all parties involved, which was characterized by great Chinese hospitality, ended impressively with a boat trip on the Huangpu River through the city center of Shanghai.
On 3rd April 2019, Prof. Dr. Reinhard Stockmann gave a lecture on "Institutionalization of Evaluation in Europe" during the XXII National Congress. He was invited by the Italian Evaluation Association Associazione Italiana di Valutazione (AIV) and he presented results of the research project "Evaluation Globe".
The project aims at recording the status of the institutionalization of evaluation in the political, social and professionalization system for all relevant countries worldwide. The Europe volume, which will be published by Macmillan at the end of the year, contains 16 country case studies, a European chapter and a synthesis. This shows that, despite all the regional, cultural, political and social differences in the countries studied, administrative modernisation, in the wake of new public management concepts and the EU's requirements, especially in the allocation of funds from the Structural Funds, was the dominant driving force behind the institutionalisation of evaluation in the countries studied.
CEval organizes vocational training conference together with BIBB
On behalf of the Vocational Training Research Network Working Group (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Berufsbildungsforschungsnetz (AG BFN)), the Center for Evaluation together with the German Federal Institute for Vocational Training have organized a conference on the topic "Evaluation and Impact Research in Vocational Training". The conference took place from the 29 to 30 November 2018 at the Wissenschaftszentrum Bonn. Interest was correspondingly high. CEval was not only involved in the conception of the conference, but also contributed with a series of lectures.
In his keynote speech, Professor Dr. Reinhard Stockmann presented the "Systematic Evaluation Analysis (SEA)", which he has developed as an instrument for impact evaluation. The approach combines elements of meta-evaluation, meta-analysis and systematic review. The aim was to identify success factors responsible for effectiveness, impact and sustainability of vocational training projects. For this purpose, over 80 projects and programs of vocational training cooperation - that were evaluated by CEval between 1992 and 2017 - have been assessed. Whereas in the individual evaluations emphasis was placed on the internal validity of results, SEA aims above all at a high external validity. Content results are synthesized, structured, classified and subsumed according to selected criteria in order to generate cumulative findings that allow generalizations. In this way, the success variables determined in individual project and program evaluations were condensed into four core variables that can be assigned to three clusters (compare Figure 1):
Figure 1: Model of the key variables of sustainable BBZ
These three "success clusters" were distilled from around 80 individual evaluations of projects and programs from the last 40 years. These evaluations were subject to a major conceptual change and were carried out in a wide variety of socio-cultural contexts and political systems. Therefore, it can be assumed that these "success factors" present a high degree of temporal and regional stability.
Further contributions of CEval have been lectures of Dr. Stefan Silvestrini on "Ex-ante Evaluation" and on "Meta-Evaluation in Vocational Education and Training", as well as a lecture of Dr. Wolfgang Meyer, who questioned the (quasi) experimental design for impact assessment in vocational training research in his lecture "Long-term effects through long-term care".
The conference closed with a panel on the question: How must evaluation and impact research in vocational education and training develop further?
A new international Master's degree programme in the field of international cooperation and development is now being offered jointly by Saarland University and Kaiserslautern University of Technologie. The Englisch-language programme, whose official title is 'Master (Blended Learning) of Evaluation MABLE', combines on-campus block courses with modern forms of e-learning and is unique in its field in Europe. The first intake of international students have already completed the primary e-learning phase and have spent the first of two weeks in Saarbrücken attending on-campus taught courses. Students interested in joining the programme in October 2018 must submit their applications by 15 August.
Altough global demand for monitoring and evaluatin specialists continues to rise, the number of suitable academic programmes in this area is failing to keep pace. The Englisch-language Master's programme MABLE has been designed to provide postgratuate training to professionals with some experience in the field of international cooperation and development. The programme has a blended-learning format, combining self-directed study using e-learning tools with periods of on-campus ('classroom-based') teaching. It is the only Master's programme of its kind in Europe. The twelve students currently in the programme come from a broad group of countries, including Afghanistan, Chile, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Sri Lanka.
The MABLE programme provides participants with an opportunity to design and implement evaluations in an international context. Case studies enable students to acquire valuable insight into real-world practical applications. The focus of the programme is on evaluation in the field of international cooperation and development. The programme aims to teachs students the academic methodologies required to address questions and problems relating to evaluation, while also providing them with the skills needed to work as expert consultants in the field, to understand contract award and procurement processes and to manage evaluation projects. The Master's programme teaches students the core competencies required in monitoring, quality management, organizational development and project and programme management. Graduates work as evaluators, evaluations managers, quality managers, monitoring officers and project managers.
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